Climate change: a risk to the global middle class

Climate change: a risk to the global middle class

Autorzy: edited by Dr. Dinah A. Koehler

Data i miejsce wydania: 2016

UBS Group AG launched “Climate change: a risk to the global middle class” – its first report measuring the impact of climate change and its effects on the global middle class. Estimated at around one billion people worldwide, and with substantial assets and political influence, the middle class is key to social order and economic growth. Given the group’s size, spending power and dynamism, the erosion of middle-class wealth through climate change threatens both economic and sociopolitical stability. At the same time, the middle class also represents the greatest opportunity for change.

To examine the impact of climate change on the middle class, UBS looked at middle-class consumption in 215 cities around the world and compared consumption patterns to the level of climate-change risk in those cities. The study found that in cities most at risk from climate change, such as Los Angeles, Tokyo and Shanghai, spending priorities are noticeably different, with the middle class spending between 0.6 and 0.8 percent more on housing when compared to the respective national average. In the US, middle class residents of high climate-change risk cities spend between USD 800 and USD 1,600 more annually on housing compared to a lower risk city. To compensate, middle-class households spend proportionately less on luxuries, entertainment and durable goods.

The world’s largest global cities contain nearly a quarter of the global population and generate around half of global GDP. The concentration of both people and wealth in urban centers means cities are crucial not just to national economies, but also to global companies and their investors. Most of the global middle class lives in Southeast Asia, the region that has experienced the fastest urban population growth in recent years.

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